A National Health Interview Survey conducted in 2002 generated significant data, recently analyzed and reported in the October issue of Current Eye Research. A statistical link has been shown between cataracts and users of St. John’s wort. Over 31,000 adults were interviewed as part of the National Health Interview Survey. The University of Alabama Department of Epidemiology cross-compared patients’ use of St. John’s wort with cataracts, and discovered that participants in the survey with cataracts were 59% more likely to have used St. John’s wort. The researchers reported that the association between St. John’s wort and cataracts could be as low as 2% and as high as 146%.
Over 250,000 consumers of St. John’s wort have reported having cataracts
St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement touted as a remedy for mild depression. Some experts, such as Dr. Joan Roberts of Fordham University, advocate that this herbal supplement should either be removed from the market or at least be labeled as to its risks.